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Inside the new Jannus Landing: The players, the challenges, and the return of live music



What you see above is Jannus Landing as it appeared last week: Clogged with machinery and concrete, in no shape whatsoever to host a Burning Spear concert.

The photo was taken one day before Soundcheck named the demise of Jannus Landing its top local news story for 2009. Our colleagues with Neighborhood Times, a Pinellas-centric section of the St. Pete Times, went whole hog on the story over the weekend. If you live in North Pinellas or Hillsborough County, you might have missed it. If so, here are some highlights:

-- Sheila Mullane Estrada talked to Jeff Knight, the new minority owner of Jannus Landing, who said concerts will return in the spring -- at least, that's his goal. Knight, 47, sees the Jannus block of downtown St. Pete as a potential "entertainment complex" with services and events for all ages and all musical tastes. He says he has arranged for free parking for concertgoers in city parking garages and has been assured there will be a strong police presence in the area. He expects to have more than a dozen concerts every month, and that renovations will include luxury skyboxes, a plexiglass-covered koi pond, a new surround-sound system and a new sushi bar in the old Tamiami Bar. Click here for Sheila's full story.

-- Sheila Mullane Estrada also spoke with Tony Amico, Jannus Landing's landlord, about making peace with nearby residents, as well as about previous owner John C. "Jack" Bodziak. "I wish him well in what he does in the future," Amico said. "I hope he learned a lesson, but he did not act honorably." Amico has also faced battles with residents over projects in Treasure Island (Caddy's on the Beach) and in Tierra Verde. Is he in for a similar fight over Jannus Landing? Click here for Sheila's full story.

-- Luis Perez outlined the challenges faced by the Jannus block of downtown St. Pete.  Already, there is much optimism about what Knight will bring to the venue. "This guy, to me, he's like President Obama," said Michael Brennan, co-owner of Tangelo's Grille for 23 years. "He just stepped in here, like, boom!, and came into all this mess." Click here for Luis' story.

-- Sandra J. Gadsden wrote about the need for the city of St. Petersburg to throw its support behind the new Jannus Landing. Click here to read Sandra's column.

-- Finally: Here's a look at all there is (or will be) to see in the Jannus Landing block of St. Petersburg.

Photo: Scott Keeler

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:15pm]


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